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Just In: MDC Vows To Appeal Against Police Ban On Mutare Demo

MUTARE– The opposition MDC leadership in Manicaland have vowed to appeal against a police ban of their planned protest over worsening economic crisis in the country.

By Donald Nyarota

MDC Manicaland chairperson, Prosper Mutseyami told a press conference in Mutare this morning that they would challenge the police ban in the courts to push ahead with their planned protest offensive.

Mutseyami said despite a cocktail of reasons furnished by the police for the ban, they are suspicious of ulterior motives as security forces have flooded Mutare.

“We have just received a letter which has come from the Zimbabwe Republic Police in response to the notification that we gave them last week with regards to a demonstration march that we are supposed to do from Beit Hall Sakubva right up to Meikles Park in town

“They have put a cocktail of reasons amongst them they say they have a shortage of staff and they have alluded to the fact that there is likely to be violence which we do not subscribe to because we are not a violent party,” he said.

“So as the leadership of the party we make decisions as we go with regards to this response that we have received from the police and one of that avenues is that we are going to challenge this in the court of law.”

The prohibition order handed down by the Officer Commanding Police Mutare Central District Chief Superintendent Florence Marume said police were banning the demonstrations based on misgivings of business people.

Marume said incidences of business disruptions during an earlier march in January had caused losses for business who were afraid of a repeat of that situation.

“During a consultative meeting with stakeholders and business community of Mutare held on 19 August. About 31 businesses entities cited incidences of the 15 and 16 January where normal business was disrupted thereby causing a lot of losses,” said Marume.

Mutseyami said they followed all procedures and that this ban exposes the government’s insincerity to advance reforms to the international community.

He said police should not speak for business people who also have the rights to challenge through the courts any exercise which may be harmful to their business interests.

“Among other issues that they have raised they have raised concerns with regards to the business people who have not been mentioned at all and we don’t even know who the business people are and we wonder how the police comes in to advocate for the business community.

“If there were issues from the business people we were expecting a business association to challenge us through the courts as it is subscribed in the laws of this country

“We will go through that process and we will await to see how it comes by but all the same its paramount for the people of Zimbabwe to note and for the international community to note that we have followed all procedures that are supposed to be done when we go into these demonstrations as it is clearly said in the constitution.

“We have also noted that there is a barrage from the state security police army the ZIC the CIO everyone else is in Mutare, it’s full of the systems we have seen many trucks of the police soldiers though they are not in uniform they are involved,” said Mutseyami.

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